So, as I’ve mentioned, I’ve started researching the idea of graduate school in the nearish future (maybe?). One thing that keeps coming up is the question, basically, “What are your weaknesses?”
This question drives me absolutely crazy for two reasons.
(1) Nobody answers it truthfully. Everyone has been given the advice to “pick something that isn’t a real weakness, and turn it into something positive”. “Oh, I’m too much of a perfectionist.” Nice try, but that’s not really a weakness. So the first question that I’m posing to you is: Do you have a rehearsed answer to this question?
(2) I don’t think it is very revealing about the person answering it because most people have some rehearsed answer about a weakness that isn’t really a weakness. I can’t figure out what is this question reveals except that, you’ve been advised by someone on how to carefully construct an acceptable answer to this and you don’t mind giving a misleading answer to achieve the job/program that you want.
Am I the only one who wouldn’t apply to something where I had a weakness so great that it could potentially compromise my ability to do the job? Maybe this question is a way of weeding out unqualified applicants? But again, who’s going to say, “My biggest weakness is that I have absolutely no relevant training or education and don’t know the first thing about this job,” Nobody. But help me out, why is this question so popular? What does it reveal to future employers?
The only other thought I had is that maybe this question is posed more to give the individual applying a chance for reflection on how their skills match the requirements of the position? But if that’s the case, I would think it is something that should have been already considered even before the application was submitted. So anyway, that’s it for my rant, what do you guys think? Do you have any favorite or least favorite interview questions?
PS) If somehow some future employer or admissions counselor finds me here, I’m sorry. I will still answer your questions and I think that all of your questions are brilliant.